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Table of Contents

Cover Story   40 Reasons to Love Chicago It’s Chicago magazine’s 40th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with 40 local people, places, and ideas that make us optimistic about the next four decades?   Departments   Arena Abraham Lincoln searches for the meaning of Christmas in a show at Northlight Theatre; “Pocket … Read more

Because the Neo-Futurists can crank out a great play in a flash

  A prolific troupe of writers-performers who bring the art of playwriting to the edge + an assignment from Chicago magazine to capture a reason to love our city = A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks (in Which the Word “Subjectively” Means “Specific and Personal”)—a brilliant six-minute play conceived by 23 former and … Read more

Because we still realize the American dream

Pilsen filmmaker Esaú Meléndez   When 15-year-old Esaú Meléndez joined his family in Chicago two decades ago, thoughts of a life beyond the borders of his Bucktown neighborhood were as far off as the city—Mexico City—he had left behind. “I basically was in survival mode,” Meléndez, now 35, recalls. “I didn’t really think about opportunities … Read more

Because Chicago fans wear their colors into battle, and once in a while their devotion gets its due

  Related: MORE PHOTOS » Our coverage of the Blackhawks’ victory parade and rally in June 2010 At the June 11, 2010, parade celebrating the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win: (front row, left to right) Michael Jacobson, 18; Wes Zielinski, 22; Brett Jensen, 19; Nixon Flores, 18; (middle) Joseph Flores, 18; (back) Jeremy Bagwell, 18; James … Read more

Because we've got the only human qualified to imagine the ultimate Chicago movie: Roger Ebert

  Related: TOP 40 MOVIES FILMED IN CHICAGO » The perfect Chicago movie would be impossible to make, but you might approach perfection in this way. Begin with a director who has demonstrated since his first work an intimacy with the real city and its neighborhoods. That would be Andrew Davis. His first film was … Read more

Because we find inspiration in rugged thoroughfares

For more of our favorite shots of Elston Avenue from our local photographers, launch the gallery »   Related: PHOTO GALLERY » Local photographers Chris Strong, Carlos Javier Ortiz, and Jeremy Bolen spent a few days this fall capturing Elston Avenue. There’s a stretch of Elston Avenue between Chicago and Armitage that makes me swoon … Read more